Monday, December 25, 2006

The Nativity – Rembrandt

The Nativity - Rembrandt
The Nativity – Rembrandt, etching 1654, 106x129mm. Larger version here on Rembrandt: life, paintings, etchings, drawings & self portraits.

Addendum: Li-An writes to mention that those near Paris can still catch Rembrandt the Draftsman (EN) (FR) at the Louvre until January 8th, 2007.

Here in the U.S., in the midwest, Rembrandt: Master Etchings From St. Louis Collections goes to January 14, 2007.

Those of us on the East Coast have the opportunity to see Strokes of Genius: Rembrandt’s Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery until March 18th, 2007.

4 thoughts on “The Nativity – Rembrandt

  1. Daniel van Benthuysen

    One of the most innovative aspects of Rembrandt’s etchings was his realization that with an etching needle scratching through the protective wax coating on the plate one could very closely approximate the freehanded nature of a preliminary sketch. In fact many of Rembrandt’s etchings from this period are simply etched sketches. Until this point prints were carefully engraved directly with a burin carving the metal out of the plate. Laborious and tedious — but for those of a certain frame of mind it was an ideal if somewhat stilted medium. Rembrandt opened up the possibilities, first for the artists who were more freehanded in their working methods and then for the collectors who got a glimpse into how the creative process works. Over the course of the next hundred years after Rembrandt printmakers continued to blur the lines between drawing and printmaking until in the 1750s printmakers could produce types of etchings that so closely resembled drawings that even today some museums are folled. But Rembrandt in the 1650s seemed to have figured out that the real power in this etching medium was that it could more powerfully reflect the spontaneity of exploration that artists make in their first drawings, before the process of painting tends to snuff out the exhilaration of discovery that an artist feels when creating something new.

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